This is an exciting time for technical communicators. As technology has caused major changes in most people's work, home, and play, the need for successful, professional technical communication has grown enormously. In 1991, the Society for Technical Communication (STC) had 13,778 members in 24 countries. In 2001, it had 21,789 members in 48 countries. Academic programs in technical communication have also expanded tremendously in the past decade.
The start of a new century is an excellent time to take a look at where we are and where we are going in both academia and industry. This book does that. With 11 essays and instructive introductions by the editors, Reshaping Technical Communication: New Directions and Challenges for the 21st Centuryprovides us with insights on many aspects of the past, present, and future relationship between academia and industry and sparks a very interesting discussion on future trends for technical communicators.
If we look at these essays in a slightly different way, we also see that they are about communities.Community is going to be a major theme of this new century.
Many people in technical communication complain of feeling isolated— teaching and researching technical communication in a department that does not value it, working as a lone writer in a group of developers or even as the only writer in an entire company, working as an independent consultant in the isolation of a one-person office, or telecommuting and therefore working alone much of the time.